Whether it’s fair or not, the Girard Perregaux Watches History Replica Laureato is one of several luxury sports watches that will be compared to the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak or Patek Philippe Nautilus ad nauseam upon the mere mention of its name. However, when Girard-Perregaux announced a black ceramic version of the Laureato for SIHH 2018, I was heartened at the implementation of the elegantly simple solution to constantly being compared to juggernauts like those aforementioned watches. That solution, of course, is to offer something they don’t. Making a distinctive impression with a steel, two-tone, or gold sports watch in this field is tough. Really tough. With the exception of the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar black ceramic watch, there are really no ceramic options from the usual suspects in this space. So, how does it fare in person?
All images by Ariel Adams
It may come off a little pedantic, but it really is important to keep in mind how ceramic feels when you hold and wear it. I held the ceramic Laureato model in one hand and a steel Laureato model in the other and there was just no cognitive dissonance about the ceramic feeling vastly superior in all regards. And as far as the use of a black ceramic, I’m not saying this because I love black, but there is obviously a world of difference between a black ceramic watch and one that is in steel and has black DLC. The scratch-proof (though admittedly vulnerable to, well, shattering under the worst case scenario) and lightweight ceramic case and bracelet of the Laureato actually offer something that no other competitor really does right now and the execution by Girard Perregaux Womens Vintage Watches Replica deserves high praise.
Measuring 42mm wide and 11.13mm thick, I found these to be ideal measurements in a watch I’d wear with a 7.5 inch wrist. That being said, there is also a 38mm wide model that I have absolutely no interest in wearing. But it’s always good to have a smaller option of course.
The first thing one notices about the Laureato is obviously the octagonal bezel framing the dial and a major hesitation of mine was regarding the interplay of the octagonal bezel with the ring below it connecting to the case. Fortunately, the contrast of the brushed octagonal bezel against the smooth ring provides enough textural variation. Otherwise, the black on black would run the risk of just falling flat and looking lazy. The rest of the case and bracelet is also brushed, with the center links being polished (just like on the steel and gold models).
The watch is almost all black with the exception of the hands, indices, and text on the dial but Girard-Perregaux’s existing Laureato design fortunately provides enough visual brio to have character and personality. The Clou de Paris hobnail pattern on the dial looks fantastic in person, just as it does in photos. What’s interesting here is that the text on the dial is the most legible of any Laureato and what I learned to appreciate for the first time really is the font of the text. It’s a small thing but the font used on the dial text and date window numerals is simply aesthetically perfect to me when looking at the dial cohesively.
Girard-Perregaux has fitted this symbolic case using its in-built chronograph movement, forcing two counter and tiny moments as well as a date display. As well as guaranteeing impeccably accurate timekeeping, it’s distinguished by its comfy power book and the especially smooth activation of its pushers. Its horological attributes are complemented by exemplary finishing including “Côtes de Genève”, chamfering and directly graining.The Laureato is characterized by a polished octagonal bezel fitted in an integrated instance, meaning without a lugs or loops; and by its metal bracelet forming a natural extension of the case and representing a first design element in its own right.This metallic bracelet is distinguished by broad satin-brushed H-shaped links in addition to domed and polished interlink elements. When worn, this bracelet reveals the most important quality of a exceptionally soft, supple feel. It makes the Laureato perfectly comfy on any wrist.By definition, the Laureato is adorned with a dial bearing the “Clous de Paris” hobnail motif, a set of small raised pyramids occupying the eye face and grabbing the light. Sporty because of its sturdiness, chic due to its meticulous details, it’s designed as much for grand events as for relaxed daily wear. Its versatility stems from intense reflection on the fundamentals of ergonomics, quantity and style, giving rise to a broad collection of chronograph versions.The Laureato adjusts to the rough design of the various subdials and pushers characterizing the Laureato Chronograph. The exterior of the Laureato instance has evolved to incorporate a crown guard (shoulder), a curve naturally imposed from the pushers themselves. The latter will be octagon-shaped like the bezel, making protuberances the Laureato Chronograph incorporates with natural simplicity. The dial comes in a selection of silver-tone, black or deep blue variations.
Turning the watch over reveals the exhibition caseback, which is identical to that of the other 42mm Laureato watches, showing off the automatic in-house GP 1800 movement. The movement measures 29.90mm wide and 4.16mm thick, and operates at 28,800 vph with a 54 hour power reserve. I find the “Manufacture Girard Perregaux” text on the rotor to be obnoxiously large to the point that it’s what I’d expect from a knockoff that never wants you to forget the brand name. I do wish there was some extra flair on the movement to match the black ceramic package, though. Maybe some black rhodium treatment to have it mesh with the overall attitude of the piece?
Can I think about extending my relationship with all the Laureato to some more permanent one, I might take some issue with the cost. It’s unquestionably a sport-luxury watch with a emphasis on the luxury, and as I hope I’ve made clear, the focus on detail about the case, dial, and movement is impeccable across the board. But $11,000 to get a steel watch, one with an in-house motion along with also a prestigious pedigree, without the complications other than a date screen, might strike some as rather steep. Still, it can not be argued that this watch looks expensive — even with the fairly straightforward and sporty rubber strap. Many might find the price of admission for this horological club of easy, classical elegance to be well worth it.During an interview at SIHH 2018 with German watch portal watchtime.net, Girard-Perregaux’s CEO Antonio Calce, spoke about two of the newest inventions, the Laureato Chronograph and the Neo Tourbillon with Three Bridges Skeleton. Watch the video to find out more:The Neo Tourbillon with Three Bridges Skeleton is crisscrossed with slender black finely rounded bridges. Their curves and cut-outs specify the arrangement of their visual effect and encourage a remarkably slender mechanical structure. The ethereal suspended masses seem really improbable given the extreme transparency of this intricate caliber. Stretched like wires over a precipice, the bridges of their skeleton caliber are a nod to the architecture of the monumental counterparts around the world. The Millau Viaduct in terms of its sheer extent; the Mohammed VI bridge in Rabat for the openworked and sensual shape of its pylons; and the Oversteek Bruk for its fine sense of equilibrium it exudes.The version is introduced in a 45 mm-diameter titanium case measuring 15.85 mm high. The satin-brushed bombed case group is distinguished by the entire absence of any bezel. Its polished lugs are perched high on the situation so as to create a robust and ancient inflection. It is this curve that ensures the Neo Tourbillon with Three Bridges Skeleton stays so closely on any wrist, yet small.
As I previously mentioned, there are no ceramic options from Patek Philippe, Vacheron Constantin, or Audemars Piguet. With the Nautilus in steel starting at $22,000, the Overseas in steel starting at $20,900, and the 41mm mechanical Royal Oak in steel starting at $17,800, all of these watches cost more than the Girard Perregaux Watch Models Replica Laureato in black ceramic. Priced at $16,700, this watch answers that pestering question that so many watch buyers have asked themselves: “for that money why not get X?” Well, if you want a watch of this caliber in all-ceramic, there is no other game in town. Again, my hat’s off to Girard-Perregaux for this watch in both concept and more importantly, execution. girard-perregaux.com
Girard-Perregaux Laureato – steel – level